Bupa is withdrawing from the pre-funded long-term care market following a strategic review despite claiming just six months ago, after pulling out of immediate needs, that it remained committed to it.
New cover will not be accepted from June 11, although pre-funded policyholders and applications for its Futurecare range of products received before the cut-off date will not be affected by the move.
Its decision leaves Skandia as the sole remaining provider of pre-funded LTC in the market.
Bupa follows a string of providers who have withdrawn from an already shrinking market. Product providers have struggled to identify prospects for development of this product and be sure of a return on capital. This is despite reports of an ever-ageing UK population and a predicted rise in the cost of long term care.
The company claims that consumers are confused about the options that are available to them and are reluctant to take out the product.
Bupa head of health insurance sales Martin Noone says: “We hoped that the market would strengthen and the perspective of the consumer would change. We will continue to look at the pre-funded LTC market and perhaps come back with a new product.”
Care Funding Bureau head Owain Wright says: “I wonder if the Bupa management ever really understood the LTC marketplace. Their commitment to it lasted six months from their statement. I cannot see them coming back to the pre-funded market.”